Understand and Implement Strategy

I recently gave a seminar on Transformative Strategic Planning™ in Kuala Lumpur. We discussed a great variety of concepts, methodologies, and issues in strategic planning. As promised, I learned the three main points of concern for the group. They were: (1) how to make sure that strategy links to implementation, (2) what can be done to make sure our people/staff understand our strategy, and (3) how to instill belief in the strategy.

The common denominator seems to be problems with the understanding and implementation of the strategy after it has been formulated. The main reason for this problem seems to be the sequence of formulating the strategy first and then worry about how to effectively communicate and implement that strategy.

The formulation and implementation of the strategy are two sides of the same coin. Better yet, it is like a zipper. We all know how well a zipper works when we use it in a way in which each corresponding side of links comes together in an orderly manner. We also know how hard it is to close a zipper when it is jammed.

Strategy is even worse. With a zipper, we can try and play with it until we get it right (if we do not damage or lose links). With strategy, however, you have only one chance to get it right.

Inappropriate methodologies will damage the thrust on the strategy and senior management, create confusion and disillusion, and generate all kinds of passive resistance to change. They may also generate emerging strategies that will take over part of the original strategy.

For some ideas about how to have a sound implementation, you can download my free PDF, “How to Have an Effective Strategy Implementation,” from my website.

Luis Flores, Ph.D. is a respected international authority in the areas of strategic planning and corporate management. Learn more about him and his work at sei-consulting.com.

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